Sport Liverpool trampolinist gunning for Olympic success
For most of his high school days at St Margaret’s Church of England Academy in Aigburth, Rhys Northover would train almost every day and has regularly won medals in Team GB youth categories.
In 2011, he was named alongside the likes of double Olympic medallist Hannah Whelan and Team GB heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, one of the country’s biggest hopes for glory at Tokyo 2020, at the Liverpool Young Sports Person of the Year awards.
Now 18, Rhys is a foundation year student in Engineering at the University.
Speaking to AU vice-president Matt Addison, he said: “I needed to choose a university that was in Liverpool, so that I could keep training at my club. I thought that this university was the best for the subject I wanted to choose.
“From being a little hyperactive child, I tried lots of sports, but one day a gymnastics coach came into my primary school and saw the potential that I had.
“She suggested that I went to this trampolining club – I started off with once a week, then twice a week, then all of a sudden it was six times a week.
“My sporting highlight so far is wining a silver medal in the Europeans team event which no medal had been achieved in for 14 years.”
Rhys is part of the Sport Liverpool elite athlete scheme, which offers promising student sports stars the financial support they need to compete as well as continue their studies.
He said: “It has allowed me to go to the world championships in Russia in 2018 with the cash contributions.
“The world championship is where people from all around the world compete. Unfortunately, my partner that I was competing with fell off during our routine, so that ended my world championship quickly.”
Rhys is a part of the City of Liverpool gymnastics club – the same club Beth Tweddle, three-time World Champion and Olympic bronze medallist, attended, and the club which yielded around 80% of the Team GB gymnasts who competed at London 2012.
That is some pedigree to follow.
Rhys added: “Of course, any sporting dream is to go to the biggest games event of them all: the Olympics.
“I have people that I look up to, but this is my individual journey – not everyone’s journey will be the same.”
Described as a ‘rising star’ on the British Gymnastics website at the age of 13, Rhys has come a long way since then. He now hopes to utilise those skills to win medals for Sport Liverpool and Team GB.
Anyone wishing to get involved with trampolining with Sport Liverpool can find out more information here.